Taming a wild animal^
Pretty straight forward. Find and capture the beast you intend to tame (Whether or not the creature can even be tamed is at the discretion of the DM). The only thing to note here would be the method the players use to capture the creature: using nonviolent and non-magical methods is much more difficult obviously, but will make the taming process easier as the creature would have less reason to resent you. (Some exceptions may apply depending on the creature, some creatures may only respond to violence for instance)
Once you capture/pacify the creature then you have arduous task of making it not hate you. This is arguably the most difficult stage of the process and requires certain number of stars to align before you have much of a chance of taming the beastie which I’ll get to in a moment.
The actual taming of the animal will be handled through a modified skill challenge. Each day the player must spend at least 3 hours near the creature and 1 hour having one on one bonding sessions (4 hours total). During that time they make an animal handling skill check, on a success that days bonding went well, on a fail the bonding went poorly (there can be consequences for poor bonding sessions, one I read was to have the creature bite off the player’s hand). The player must succeed on X checks before failing Y checks in order to tame the creature (eg. you must reach 10 successes before you reach 5 fails)
Once the player has passed the skill challenge then their creature has been tamed. The creature becomes friendly towards the player and will follow them around if not left contained. The creature will not defend the player, but will attack perceived threats to itself. The creature retains it’s alignment while tamed and, though friendly towards the player, will still be hostile towards those it would normally consider a threat (A tamed creature with an evil alignment may not attack the player, but it may still be inclined to eat babies).
The specifics of taming a creature may be influenced by a number of things including: The creature’s alignment and intelligence, the creature’s Challenge rating, the creature’s size, the player’s class, the player’s roleplaying skill and of course the method used during the creature’s capture.
The DC for taming an animal starts at 15, depending on other factors this will raise or lower. See below.
The Creature’s Alignment
Different alignments will have different effects on the requirements of the creature.
- Unaligned, true neutral and lawful creatures have no change
- Chaotic creatures are automatically harder to tame than normal, increasing the number of successes required to pass the skill challenge by 2.
- Good creatures respond better to good aligned players. If a good aligned player is taming a good aligned creature then the number of fails needed to fail the skill challenge is increased by 1. This same rule applies to evil players taming evil creatures.
- Conversely, a good creature responds poorly to evil aligned players. If an evil aligned player is taming a good aligned creature then the number of fails needed to fail the skill challenge is decreased by 1. This same rule applies to good players taming evil creatures.
The Creature’s Intelligence
A creatures intelligence can influence parts of the taming process.
- A creature with 4 or less intelligence have no change
- A creature with more than 4 but less than 10 intelligence can potentially understand what you’re trying to do and may help or hinder your efforts at the discretion of the DM (A Harpy may recognise that you are attempting to train it but allow you to continue so long as you continue to provide the food it craves)
- Creatures with more than 10 intelligence most likely cannot be tamed through this method (The DM may allow exceptions).
The Creature’s Challenge Rating
A creature’s challenge rating will influence the DC of the skill challenge.
- Challenge ratings less than 1 should be easier than normal (At the discretion of the DM)
- Challenge ratings between 1 and 3 have no change
- Above 3 the challenge should get progressively harder (at rate of +1 to the DC every 2 challenge levels. so CR3 = DC15 || CR4 = DC16 || CR6 = DC17 and so on so forth)
The Player’s Class
Some classes are naturally more adept at taming animals than others.
- Rangers have the DC for the skill challenge lowered by 2
- Druids and Beastmasters have the DC for the skill challenge lowered by 4
- Beastmasters are naturally better with animals. The number of successes needed to pass the skill challenge is decreased by 2 and the fails needed to fail it are increased by 2. (eg. 10 successes before reaching 5 fails becomes 8 successes before reaching 7 fails)
- Rogues are incredible at the skills they practice. But for some reason they just can’t seem to tame animals, perhaps the animals can tell they are shady. A player with any levels in the rogue class gets the dc raised by 4.
The Creature’s Size
Bigger creature’s are tougher to train, the bigger the beastie the bigger the challenge.
- Small, Medium and Large creatures have no changes
- Tiny creatures allow all skill checks in the skill challenge to be taken with advantage
- Huge creatures can only be trained with the assistance of 4 people all trained in animal handling, 4 skilled hirelings or any combination of the above (see Hirelings), in addition the creature requires an additional 2 hours of one on one time each day. Increases the number of successes required by 2
- Gargantuan creatures can only be trained with the assistance of 4 people all trained in animal handling, 4 skilled hirelings or any combination of the above (see Hirelings). The full party must be present at all stages of the taming process, in addition the creature requires an additional 6 hours of one on one time each day and all skill checks involved in the challenge must be taken with disadvantage. Increases the number of successes required by 4 (Note: When the whole group is required then the party must elect a player to become the lead trainer, that player’s character is the only one used when determining the difficulty of the skill challenge)
The Capture Method
The way a player catches a creature can influence the chances of taming it.
- Using nonviolent methods to capture or pacify a creature makes it more friendly towards you. If nonviolent methods are used then lower the DC of the skill challenge by 1
- Violent methods have the opposite effect, making a creature less responsive to your training. If violent methods are used then increase the DC of the skill challenge by 1
Player’s who roleplay a taming session (or add addition flavor text/a story in their downtime post) well might earn bonuses at the discretion of the DM. Some possible bonuses could include:
- Taking a single check in the skill challenge with advantage
- Lowering the DC of a single check in the skill challenge
Crits and Fumbles
Finally we can’t finish this off without adressing natural 20’s and natural 1’s. Quite simply:
- A natural 20 counts as 2 successes
- A natural 1 counts as 2 failures